Microsoft First Cloud Provider To Meet EU Standards

Apr 16, 2014

IT giant Microsoft’s cloud services have been approved by the EU, making it the first company to officially adhere to the Union’s strict privacy standards.

The firm was approved after the EU formed an “Article 29 working party” of 28 data-protection authorities to investigate enterprise cloud contracts.

Microsoft enterprise cloud customers can now use the giant’s Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune services to move data freely throughout the world as a result of the clean bill of health.

The firm’s executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs Brad Smith claimed that the news is “especially significant given that Europe’s Data Protection Directive sets such a high bar for data protection.”

Benefits For Microsoft Customers

Smith added that the new seal of approval benefits customers in three key ways.

“Should the EU suspend the Safe Harbour Agreement with the US, as called for recently by the European Parliament, our enterprise customers won’t need to worry that their use of our cloud services on a worldwide basis will be interrupted or curtailed,” he claimed.

Smith went on to say that the Agreement only covers transfer between Europe and the US, so if it does remain in place, Microsoft clients will still be able to make transfers globally because of the firm’s contractual commitments.

The third benefit, he said, is that his company is involved in continual hard work to ensure it complies with its stringent obligations are part of it contract, meaning that customers can benefit from “strong engineering protections.”

Smith also added that Microsoft “will now take proactive steps to expand these legal protections to benefit all [of its] enterprise customers.”




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